Sector Profiles and Issues

The nonprofit sector is made up of a hugely diverse set of organizations from very small grassroots groups through to large complex charitable organizations. Some are incorporated and others are not. It includes sports and recreation groups, faith communities, arts and culture groups, environmental groups, a wide variety of citizens’ groups, and health and human service organizations. For a closer look at the sector in Halton, read “The Nonprofit Sector in Halton: Critical Issues” or view the HNN’s 2012 presentation to locally elected officials (municipal, regional, provincial and federal.)

The Report of the Chairman’s Roundtable on the Voluntary and Not-for-Profit Sector, published by the Region of Halton in 2006, is still relevant today.

Community Development Halton has also produced a number of research reports and analyses related to the nonprofit sector. You can view and download each of these by clicking on the titles below:

A Recovery Free Zone: The Halton Bulletin - presents local results from A Recovery-Free Zone, a one-year province-wide follow-up survey conducted by the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) on the impact of the economic downturn on nonprofit community social service agencies in Ontario. The 2010 research was expanded to include a survey of non-governmental funders and foundations. Also see Pushing The Limits: Challenges of Halton’s Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Labour Force, a ground-breaking research  paper released in 2006 that is still relevant today and that explores challenges facing the nonprofit sector with a special focus on its workforce.

Through its founding meeting and the subsequent work of its Action Groups and Coordinating Committee, HNN has identified four clusters of issues with a critical impact on the sector:

  • capacity;
  • funding and resourcing;
  • policy and legislative issues, and;
  • public understanding and awareness.

Click here for a short discussion of these four clusters and the issues that combine to pose challenges for nonprofits in Halton.

What is a Nonprofit?

In response to an e-mail from a member of the public asking what a non profit organization is, the HNN Coordinator responded with this definition.


The Nonprofit Sector in Halton: Critical Issues

A profile of the sector in Halton, its contributions to the economic and social vitality of the community and a brief listing of key issues confronting the sector may be found by clicking here. This presentation was originally given on February 29th 2012 to politicians from the Halton area from all levels of government.


The Ontario Nonprofit Network

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) was organized in May 2007 in response to concerns about proposed changes to the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Bill 65). Since that time, sector support for the nonprofit network has continued to grow and ONN has emerged as a nonpartisan convener of sector voices, communication broker and coordinator for nonprofits in Ontario. We have increased collaborations with government, foundations and segments of the for-profit sector to support its mandate.

ONN’s current network exceeds 6,000, with an estimated reach of 42,000 individuals who are committed to the sector in Ontario. Within the last six months alone, the network has grown by more than 50%, a strong indication of interest, credibility and commitment to ONN’s work with and for the sector.


The Partnership Project

On March 3, 2011, Ontario released a new strategy to strengthen its partnership with the nonprofit sector, a sector that creates over one million jobs and contributes close to $50 billion to the province’s economy. Based on extensive consultation with nonprofits in the province over 2010, the Report from the Partnership Project contains a series of recommendations that are seen by many in our sector as crucial to ensuring a vibrant, healthy sector.

 According to the Partnership Project website:

“To help guide the strategy, the Partnership Advisory Group is being created and will include leaders from the NFP [nonprofit sector], public and private sectors. And the Partnership Project Office will also be established to help renew, streamline, and modernize the government’s relationship with community organizations and provide better coordination.”  

On April 13, 2011, at the Ontario Nonprofit Network’s Unconference, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Dr. Eric Hoskins, updated the sector and announced the appointment of Helen Burstyn (formerly Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and his Co-Chair in Year One of the Partnership Project) as the Executive Lead for the new Partnership Project Office within the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

While the strategy was welcomed with enthusiasm by leaders in the sector at the ONN’s Unconference, there were also calls from some for the sector to carefully monitor implementation to ensure that the recommendations do not become a framework for downloading to the nonprofit sector. In particular, they noted the cautionary experiences of the sector in Great Britain (The Big Society) and in the United States (The Tea Party).

The full report can be read by going to the Partnership Project website and downloading it from: http://partnershipproject.ca

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